Via the Dutch Calvinist.
READ LUKE 7
The first few verses of this chapter deal with another of Jesus’ miraculous healings. It was done from a distance, because the one being healed had representation from his employer. The centurion was apparently was a good man who cared about those who worked for him. He’d heard about Jesus and His healings. When the servant grew ill, the Centurion contacted important leaders of the church to approach Jesus on his behalf. Since he was not a Jew and not circumcised, he felt unworthy to approach Jesus himself.
Jesus went with them to the house of the centurion and was met by the great military man before stepping through the door. The soldier demonstrated his faith in Jesus before He ever said a word. His faith was the key factor in his servant’s healing.
Soon after this Jesus traveled to Nain. At the gate, a funeral procession…
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Genesis 8:1 NET w/Notes
tn Heb “to pass over.”
I’m about in the middle of Neal Stephenson’s Fall: Or Dodge in Hell. I’ve also just about finished Walter Wink’s Naming the Powers. At the same time I’m revising the draft of Nightmares with the Bible, which will become my fourth published book. While doing all of this at the same time (and working about nine hours a day), it occurred to me that to really “get” an author you should theoretically read her or his oeuvre from start to finish. Ideally, to trace the arc of thought, you shouldn’t leave anything out. The reason that this is as important as it is futile is one of the nagging problems that came to me while working on my doctorate: how do you know what a source you’re citing is really saying?
Pardon my nihilism, but this is an important matter when it…
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I don’t know if any of you have experienced the speed governors that they sometimes have on go-carts so as to control the maximum speed that go-carts can go, but sometimes I feel as if I have one on my mind. Yes, I know, that probably sounds a bit on the weird side but I’m just telling it like it is. I’ve been reading through the Gospel of Luke as of late and sometimes I run into something that I just don’t comprehend. There is much within God’s Word that I think I do understand and yet at the same time there is still much that I do not understand and it bothers me because I do really want to understand. And yet, I seem to sense and know that the not understanding part is necessary, so that faith, trust and reliance in God, is a reality.
It’s like the…
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Matthew 10:34-39 NA 28
36 καὶ ἐχθροὶ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οἱ οἰκιακοὶ αὐτοῦ.
38 καὶ ὃς οὐ λαμβάνει τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀκολουθεῖ ὀπίσω μου, οὐκ ἔστιν μου ἄξιος. *
Not Peace, but a Sword
10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring60 peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword.
10:35 For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law,
10:36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.61
10:37 “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
10:38 And whoever does not take up his cross62 and follow me is not worthy of me.
Notes for 10:34
60 tn Grk “cast.” For βάλλω (ballō) in the sense of causing a state or condition, see L&N 13.14. The L&N note… 13.14 βάλλωf: to cause a state or condition, with focus upon the suddenness or force of the action—‘to cause, to bring about.’ οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν ‘I did not come to bring about peace but conflict’ Mt 10:34
Notes for 10:36
Notes for 10:38
62 sn It was customary practice in a Roman crucifixion for the prisoner to be made to carry his own cross. Jesus is speaking figuratively here in the context of rejection. If the priority is not one’s allegiance to Jesus, then one will not follow him in the face of possible rejection.
Notes for 10:39
63 tn Grk “his soul,” but ψυχή (psuchē) is frequently used of one’s physical life. It clearly has that meaning in this context.
64 sn If there is no willingness to suffer the world’s rejection at this point, then one will not respond to Jesus (which is trying to find life) and then will be subject to this judgment (which is losing it).
Faithlife Study Bible Note v. 10:38
There are some people who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior, but do little to act on their belief (James 1:27; 2:14–26). Others actively follow Christ: They live as true disciples, passionately pursuing the Lord’s will in all things. These are the ones who take their relationship with Christ seriously.
Ask yourself: Are you merely a believer or actually a follower of Jesus? Trusting in Jesus Christ is fundamental, but it’s only the first step. Your primary purpose is to take a lifelong journey following in the Lord’s footsteps—honoring Him with your actions and speech and increasing in biblical wisdom.
A Christ follower’s life is summed up in the phrase, “Complete obedience.” In fact, Jesus defined true Christians as those who prove their love for Him by obeying His teaching (John 14:23). When it comes to obeying God, our only response is I will or I won’t. It’s tempting to say, “I will, but …” as some of Jesus’ would-be disciples did, but that’s a roundabout way of saying no (Luke 9:57–62). Followers remain faithful to the Lord’s plan whether doing so is easy or hard. Not only that, but they proclaim Him in both blessing and calamity, and they follow Him even when they are uncertain where He is leading.
Followers pursue the Lord because they know that the reward is a deeper, more passionate relationship with Him. They are not just waiting to spend eternity with God in heaven; eternity begins now, as they accompany Him on the righteous path He has set before them.
Matthew 22:14 says, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” The call has gone out, and it is still going out. Whatever your background, you are being called to Christ—away from sin, to Him. Some take the call seriously. They are the ones who take the time to hear from God. They are the ones who actually do something. The call has gone out, and some will allow following Jesus Christ to shape their entire lives.
Jesus made it clear that being called as one of His disciples has a price. He said, “If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross every day and follow me” (Luke 9:23). To the original disciples, crosses represented torture, physical abuse, and death. Jesus’ reference to “take up the cross” must have sent waves of fear through the ordinary people whom Jesus had called into extraordinary lives.
The conversation that followed could have gone something like this: “First you asked me to leave my business and my family to follow and learn from you, and now you’re telling me that you’re going to die and that I have to deny myself and follow in your steps! Don’t you think that’s asking a bit much?”
But Jesus responds: “The one who finds his life will lose it, and the one who loses his life because of me will find it” (Matt 10:39). It was only as His disciples acted on Christ’s call that the true significance of His words became a reality for them. In time, confusion would disappear, and they would experience the exhilaration of giving their lives totally for the cause of Christ.
So, the question remains: Are you a believer in Christ or are you follower? Remember, being called to Christ means being called away from sin. That requires repentance. Realize you have sinned—repent and place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Then study God’s Word and be obedient to it. Listen for God’s direction in His Word and do it. Expect exciting days ahead as you live your calling.1
Stanley, C. (2012, 2016). True Discipleship. In Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
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